Accelerated Dragon: An Update
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 d6 8.Bb3 O-O 9.f3 Bd7 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 b5 12.h4 a5 13.h5!
This occurred in the games Monokroussos-Doss, Indiana 2004 and Bologan-Moldovan, France 2005. Our ideas were similar and based on the same tactical trick, though there were some significant differences, as a visit to the earlier post will reveal.
In a recent issue of Chess Today, I came across an important new game from the just-finished Acropolis Open in Athens (won by Vugar Gashimov). At first I was concerned, in light of the result, but a closer look seems to reveal that all is still well for White:
Solak,Dragan (2596) - Hamdouchi,Hichem (2555) [B77]
Athens Acropolis GM President Hotel, Athens (7.4), 12.03.2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nge2 g6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Bb3 d6 9.f3 Bd7 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 b5 12.h4 a5 13.h5
13...e5 This avoids the troubles of the Bologan/Monokroussos line, but only by substituting new ones in its place, as far as I can tell. [Doss sidestepped my main idea with 13...e6 That game continued 14.a4 b4 (14...bxa4 15.Nxa4 Bc6 improves, I think, as it keeps the queenside open and the White knight away from the kingside.) 15.Ne2+/- Bc6 16.hxg6 hxg6 17.0-0-0 d5 18.Qg5! dxe4 19.Nf4 Nh7
20.Qg4? (20.Qxg6!! I saw this, but badly underestimated the idea - I was looking for mate, not recognizing that this move actually wins material (with a continuing attack, to boot) after 20...fxg6 21.Bxe6+ Rf7 (21...Kh8 22.Nxg6#) 22.Bxf7+! Kxf7 23.Rxh7+-) 20...Bxd4 21.Nxe6! Be3+? (21...Bd7! amazingly, not only holds on but gives Black an edge after 22.Rxd4 (22.Qh3 fails to the geometrically stunning 22...Ng5!-/+) 22...Bxe6 23.Rxd8 Bxg4 24.Rxa8 Rxa8 25.fxg4=/+) 22.Kb1 Qf6 23.Qh3 Qh8 24.Nxf8 Rxf8 25.Rd6 The final shot, hitting both c6 and g6, without which the attack would fail. The game concluded 25...Qg7 26.Rxc6 exf3 27.gxf3 Bd4 28.Qh6 Qxh6 29.Rxh6 Kg7 30.Rh4 Be5 31.Rc5 Bf6 32.Rhc4 Bd8 33.Rc8 Ng5 34.f4 Nh3 35.Rd4 Bb6 36.Rxf8 Kxf8 37.Rd7 f5 38.Rd6 1-0, Monokroussos-Doss, Indiana (m) 2004.; while Moldovan went into it, and lost, after 13...a4 14.Bd5 e5 15.h6 (15.Bxa8 exd4 16.Nd5 Qxa8 (16...Nxh5 improves though - see the earlier blog entry.) 17.Ne7+ Kh8 18.h6 was the version of the idea I had prepared, with the main line continuing 18...Re8 19.hxg7+ Kxg7 20.Qh6+ Kh8 21.g4 Rxe7 22.g5 Rxe4+ (22...Nh5 23.Rxh5 gxh5 24.Qf6++-) 23.Kd2 Re6 24.gxf6 Qg8 25.Rae1 Rxf6 26.Re7 Bc6 27.Rc7+-) 15...Bh8 (15...Bxh6 is a significant improvement for Black - see the earlier blog entry for details.) 16.Bxa8 exd4 17.Nd5 Re8 (17...Qxa8 18.Ne7# is the point!) 18.Nxf6+ Qxf6 19.Bd5 d3 20.Rb1 dxc2 21.Qxc2 Qg5 22.Qd2 Qg3+ 23.Kf1 Rc8 24.Rc1 Rxc1+ 25.Qxc1 Bd4 26.Qd2 Bc5 27.Qe1 Qf4 28.Rh4 1-0, Bologan-Moldovan, FRA 2005] 14.Be3 This is reasonable, and White achieved a perfectly playable position after this, losing only due to a blunder later on. However, [14.hxg6 , which has also been played before, looks even stronger. 14...exd4 (14...hxg6 15.Be3 a4 doesn't work out for Black as it does in the game - the tempo spent recapturing on g6 gives White a winning attack with 16.Bh6 Nh5 (16...axb3 17.Bxg7 Nh5 18.Qh6 f5 19.Bxf8 Qxf8 20.Qxg6+ is completely hopeless for Black.) 17.Bd5 Rc8 18.g4 b4 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Ne2 Nf4 21.Nxf4 exf4 22.0-0-0 Qc7 23.g5 preventing ...g5 or ...Kf6 23...Qc5 hoping to trade queens with ...Qe3, as well as covering the d4 square 24.Kb1 a3 25.Rh6 Rh8 26.Rxh8 Kxh8 (26...Rxh8 27.Qxf4 wins) 27.Bxf7+- (27.Qh2+ Kg8 28.Rh1 Bh3!=) ) 15.Bxf7+ Kh8 16.Qxd4
threatening 17.Qxf6! 16...h6 (16...Rxf7 17.gxf7 b4 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.Qxd5 Bxb2 20.Rd1 Bc3+ 21.Kf1 Qb8 22.Rh5+-) 17.Qe3 (17.0-0-0 looks good too, though the game in which it occurred was ultimately drawn.) 17...Ng8 (17...Nh7 18.Rxh6 Rxf7 (18...Bxh6 19.Qxh6 Rxf7 20.gxf7 merely transposes) 19.gxf7 Bxh6 20.Qxh6 Qf6 21.Qxf6+ Nxf6 22.0-0-0 b4 23.Ne2 Bb5 24.Ng3 Bc4 25.Rxd6 Nh7 26.Rd7 Rf8 27.Ra7 Rxf7 28.Rxa5 Rg7 29.Nf5 Rxg2 30.Ne3 Rg1+ 31.Kd2 with a winning ending for White.) 18.0-0-0 b4 19.Nd5 Rc8 20.g4 and White's attack should prove decisive. Some sample carnage: 20...a4 21.g5 b3 22.axb3 axb3 23.c3 Qa5 24.gxh6 Qa1+ 25.Kd2 Qxb2+ 26.Ke1 Be5 27.g7+ Kh7 28.gxf8N+ Rxf8 29.Bxg8+ Rxg8 30.Qd2 Qa3 31.f4+-] 14...a4 15.Bd5 b4 16.hxg6 [16.Ne2 has been played before, and after 16...Nxd5 17.Qxd5 Be6 18.Qd2 Black has a good position and plenty of choices.] 16...bxc3 17.Bxf7+ Rxf7 18.gxf7+ Kxf7 19.Qxc3 Be6 20.0-0-0 Rc8 21.Qb4 d5 Black has plenty of play for the material, but White is fine here. 22.Bh6 [22.Bg5 d4 23.Bxf6 Qxf6 24.Rxh7 Qg5+ 25.Kb1 Qxg2 with (at least) sufficient compensation] 22...Qc7 23.Qxa4 dxe4 24.fxe4 Bxh6+ 25.Rxh6 Kg7 26.Rdh1 Bxa2 27.R6h3 Bc4 28.Qa3 Kh8 29.Qf3 Qe7 30.Rh6 Rf8 White continues to have the edge, but now Solak, probably in time pressure, comes up with an unfortunate idea. 31.g4 [31.Qf5] 31...Bg8 [31...Rf7] 32.g5?? There's the culprit. [32.Kb1 remains unclear.] 32...Nxe4! 33.Qxe4 Qxg5+ 34.Kd1 [34.Kb1 Qxh6! is the point - capturing on h6 results in a back-rank mate.] 34...Rd8+ 35.Ke2 Qd2+ 36.Kf3 Rf8+ 37.Kg3 Qf2+ 38.Kh3 Rf3+ 39.Kg4 Qg2+ 40.Kh4 Qxh1+ 41.Kg4 Qg2+ 42.Kh4 Rh3# 0-1